start learning about weight loss, you see the word “protein” come up a lot. And
while we are familiar with the term, not many people actually know what it is
and understand the important role it plays in weight loss.
What Does Protein Do For Your Body?
comes from the Greek word protos, which means first, and points to the critical
role it plays. Proteins are groups of chemicals which do many things: they
allow the body to send signals so you can see, hear, think and move. They help
your body make other chemical compounds that help digest food, create new
cells, and build muscle. Protein also helps keep you fuller longer, which in
turn is perfect when you are trying to cut back on calories but don’t want to
be bothered by hunger pangs.
Where Do We Get Our Protein From?
Since it is
an essential nutrient which means your body doesn’t make it, you must get it
from food. Protein that is found in other animals is similar to our own
protein; our body recognizes it more readily and incorporates it more easily.
Nutritionists call this type of protein ‘high quality protein’. Meat, fish,
poultry, eggs, and dairy products fall under this category, but eggs are
considered the most useful protein to the human body.
also get protein from plants sources like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and
seeds, but those sources have smaller amounts and are not as easily
assimilated. Because these sources are incomplete, you need to eat foods from
other categories like grains and meats to make sure you get the complete set of
proteins your body is looking for.
Why It Matters For Weight Loss?
studies in weight loss point to the important role of protein. When we
diet, we lose weight but often times we are losing exactly what we don’t need
to lose: muscle mass and bone mass. We just want to lose the fat! Scientists
have discovered that eating higher amounts of protein and lower carbohydrates
results in diminished appetite and higher metabolism, meaning your body is
burning more calories just doing its normal thing. And the weight you are
losing is fat, not muscle.
protein and what kind of protein should you include? Protein should make up
about 30% of your daily calorie intake. Your primary sources should be cottage
cheese and eggs. You can also eat red meat, pork, fish and chicken. Be sure to
incorporate some at every meal and snack to help with suppressing the appetite
and maintaining muscle mass.